tv Press Here NBC September 22, 2013 9:00am-9:31am PDT
has apple's tim cook met his match in a.j. forsyth and for that matter who is a.j. forsythe? we'll take a look at the growing market for second hand haute coutu couture. and why cable companies curse netflix. our reporters, margin giles, from the economist, and lena row of tech crunch, this week on "pre "press:here." >> two businessmen are locked in mortal battle over the future of your phone. one of them is tim cook, the ceo of apple wants you to buy the newest iphone, the iphone 5s which goes on sale friday. if you won't buy that one, well,
perhaps you will buy the iphone 5c. it has the colors. a.j. forsythe is tim cook's arch rifle. he's convinced millions of people to keep their perfectly good iphones by fixing them. a business he started at his dorm room in cal poly. so you understand, don't you, a.j., that our economy depends on people buying a new phone every 12 months and you're messing it up? >> yes. we're creating quite a bit of jobs while we're messing this up. >> yes, you are. you have a network of employees, right? >> yes. we call them i-techs and we currently have 420 of them in 11 countries and are adding 50 to 70 i-techs a month that at a click of a button will travel to customers and repair their broken ios device. >> why wouldn't i take my ios
device to an apple store. >> that's a viable option, but apple is about to sell their 700 millionth device. >> they haven't got the capacity. >> they just launched the new buyback program. they want people to, as you said, buy a phone every 12 months. now they get this credit to buy a phone at the store. why would i want to fix it versus buy it back? >> so on the buyback program, we actually just launched what we call on demand buyback through a program that we're coining express sell where we believe that for our customers convenience is a huge factor. scheduling an appointment, going and waiting in line to sell something for a credit that may or may not be to your liking, we think that system is broken, and we think you should press a button and have one of our i-techs travel to you. >> that's kind of cool. come buy my phone and somebody shows up at my door and takes the phone away and writes me a check i assume? >> no.
we're pioneering on demand debit cards. we come to you, charge up a brand of debit card and you can withdraw the cash at any atm. >> when i sell back a phone whether it's to you or -- where does it go? >> there's actually a variety of places it can go. most people sell it domestically. we're really working on recirculating these devices internationally into developing markets, and one of the cool things that we're doing is we're putting an iphone in the hands of someone who has never had been iphone before, and then when we can insure it against it breaking and be able to fix it if it ever does break again, we don't look at apple as enemies as all. we love apple and we're very passion yacht -- >> you love apple, i'm not sure they love you. >> i think if you look at us putting devices in the hands of someone who has never had an iphone, i think that's a very valuable service and we can be that back end support if it were to ever break. in the future we will be insuring them.
when you can own, repair, insurance, buyback, and redistribution, you can take care of someone's device from the start to the finish of it and then resell it and keep the cycle moving forward. >> do you see yourself sort of becoming like a geek squad type of company and expanding to other types of smartphones? >> we certainly are very eager to expand our product set. we think geek squad can improve themselves by being more on demand. i think it's 2013. you shouldn't have to go to a big box retailer. i think you should press a button and have the service come to you. >> you're across america i think pretty much now. >> we're in 43 states right now. >> who is the clumsiest state in america? who drops the most phones? >> we actually -- new yorkers surprise ingly -- >> dropping or throwing? >> that's right. >> go ahead. >> no, i mean, i was just going to say i think, you know, does apple -- we were talking a little bit about this, like does
apple love you? have you been talking to them? >> so we haven't spoken with apple, but i think our -- we believe that we're solving a problem that is affecting millions of customers in the u.s. every month. >> apple, in fact, make it is harder and harder to repair the device, right? even if it's not delivered, and it may be deliberate, it just gets more and more difficult. the screws get stranger, and the figuring out how it all fits together gets more difficult, right? >> yeah. well we believe that we can be the best in the world at repair, and we sell do-it-yourself kits that walk tens of thousands of customers a month through repairing their own device. >> what i'm asking you is the 2 was easier to repair was easier to repair than the 4. >> it's reversed itself and they're becoming easier to repair. which when you look at the product life cycle, it's in their best interest to prolong the life of the devices. it's human nature to always want what's new and shiny. what's great with with buyback programs, you can satisfy that
desire to have what's new and shiny and recycle that device. it's not planned ned be a sele sans. >> you are charging more. >> that's more of a parts and supply distribution. >> parts are more expensive. >> yes. >> there is a point in which somebody takes a phone and decides that they -- that it's been repaired or it's been -- i mean it's dead. is there a point for you or is it -- because all it really is is a circuit board and a battery. everything else -- >> a little more complicated than that. >> i understand, i understand. let's agree that the circuit board and the battery are probably going to survive most falls. >> yeah. >> so it's the other stuff that needs repairing. >> yes. >> is there a point in which you would say, no, this phone is beyond its serviceable -- >> there is that point. however, keep in mind there's still very valuable material that is can be recycles from
that. we buyback phones that do not turn on, but we still have plans for those -- >> you can take the battery and you will say now we have a battery that we can use to repair. >> we would never reuse a battery but -- >> yes, yes. >> talk a little bit about creating jobs and the economy and there's a lot of talk about the sharing economy and the on demand economy and how they are creating this whole new set of jobs for people. for your employees, are they typically part-time workers or full-time? >> for our i-techs we generally want to start them out at part time and we look at ourselves as funneling customers to them. so we provide the business backbone for them and provide the customers coming to them, and it's actually pretty amazing. if you chart out the life cycle of our i-techs, you can see people that are -- have retired and they come out of retirement because they're tinkerses and dyi enthusiasts and we have i-tech that is will make over $100,000 just repairing these devices. what's incredible is we only accept about a quarter of a percent of people that apply.
they're incredible individuals. >> i think one of the smart things you did, you are at cal poly. you figure out people break their iphones. you start repairing iphones. that's how this starts, right? >> yeah. >> was not opening up a store -- maybe you did -- >> we are not interested in brick and mortar right now. >> right, right. what you figured out was, no, what i ought to do is supply kits to other people so that they can make money -- >> for sure. >> and i will make money off the kits. was that immediate obvious to you? it's not intuitive to me. i would open a store. >> we've looked into opening a store. we think brick and mott yar -- >> no, i think it's a terrible idea. you had the smart idea, which was you got into the kit business and the training business and the connecting business. >> yes. >> not the brick and mortar business. >> yes. and it all comes down to scaleability. because we can't open a store a couple times a month or we can, it's not in our best interest to. >> i'm 5,000% with you.
i agree. i'm agreeing with you. my question is as a kid in college, how did you know that? >> i think that -- it just makes sense. people need to press a button and be taken care of. it's not going to stores anymore. it's pressing a button and having a cab come pick you up or ordering food or picking up your laundry. that's how business should be run in 2013. >> it's very intelligent, a.j. if someone is watching and they have a cracked iphone they should do what? >> go to icracked.com and check out our services. coming up, tv, phone, around internet all competing for space on the network. why "house of cards" is causing a house of cards on the internet when "press:here" continues.
welcome back to "press:here." i am going to assume you know what a transom is, the window above a door. you can find them in old offices, often open to take in the breeze, and it inspired an old publishing phrase, over the transom or over the top. unsolicited, usually unwanted, submissions tossed over a locked door and into an editor's office. television providers have adopted this term to refer to internet video that people watch on television. netflix and hulu and amazon. you see the parallels here. it's video that, frankly, is unwelcome on their systems sometimes. sent to the viewer over their own cable or phone lines. omid tahernia works at ikanos.
thank you for bringing broadband into my childrhome. my children freak out when the internet is out because it's their spotify, their netflix, their hbo go on their ipad. we did xbox. did i mention xxbox? it's everything that comes into our house that people seem to care about and it's all competing for that same pipe, right? >> absolutely. in some respect it's more important than power. my nephew walks into my house and says what's the wi-fi password and then complains by network is too slow. the bandwidth requirements in a typical home and the number of consumers and the variety of devices inside the home are just multiplying. >> and i'm not trying to pick on netflix, but netflix can be 30% of a neighborhood's internet.
that's how big some of these services have gotten. >> absolutely. and, you know, gaming by itself, if you look at gamers, did you know that they actually host each other. so if you have a network, you have multiple players -- >> you're using your xbox as a server. >> absolutely. that creates all other types of issues. in terms of content, netflix is obviously one. you know from a streaming perspective. but a variety of content that are finding their way into the home, but one other data point is also the amount of data is going back to the cloud is another element of bandwidth demand that a typical home now drives. >> it sounds like this is a perfect storm. i mean, now you're just seeing the rise of you said data going back to the cloud, the rise of streaming services, and it's only going to get more and more. what's the situation? what do we do? you know, it's a similar analogy we went through a number of years ago with wireless. the bandwidth demand as service
providers are talking about launching 75 or 100 megabit per second type services, we're developing technologies that will take that to one gigabyte per second over existing infrastructure. some of the service providers strugglie with how to take this to market. we've seen this in wireless which is why do we need all this bandwidth? then there came the next generation of smartphones. it's the same thing happening. >> you have always been able to stay one step ahead. you're always able to, well, if we compress this or if we invent this. can you continue along that curve or is data catching up to what you in the telecom industry can do? >> no. we've just scratched the surface. if you look at ikanos, which has been around 14 years, we started in 1999 focused on the next
generation dsl technology that really is just starting to get adopted. but now the cycles of adoption and that disruption that's happening around the dynamics of the market and the consumers just consuming this stuff is i think the perfect storm. i think that's what's exciting. >> but lena is right, you have this amazing history that has produced companies like google, like netflix because they've been able to get access to these pipes, but then there are the providers of the pipes who say, hang on a moment, you know, this is costing me a lot of money to upgrade, to buy perhaps ikanos chips or whatever. right now there's this tension going on between sort of opening up those pipes further and the providers of the pipes say hang on, i'm going to charge more for people like netflix who want to suck up 30% of the traffic. where do you sit on that? who is in the right here? should the providers be able to throttle stuff or charge more or
should everyone have free access to these pipes. >> these are all economic powers that will just flush itself out. there's no question in my mind. while there is some tension today around some of the elements around who is going to do the land graph, the reality is all the players are trying to ultimately work together to bring compelling user experience. we have thrown so much at the user inside the home. we talk about the pipe that enters the home, but also the continuum of connectivity that takes place inside the home. the so-called router or gateway is another challenge that we're all dealing with. >> i was going to follow up on your question. so you follow up on your own question. >> somewhere there's got to be a decision taken, and, you know, comcast that owns this station, i'm going to get thrown off this program mentioning this -- >> just check your future kashl bill. >> they're pretty unhappy with the situation. i can understand that point of view, but can technology solve
this? you were talking about the chips -- >> right. the net neutrality issue goes away if you can -- >> are you confident you guys and others can come up with a solution to this? >> absolutely. today we're developing technologies, including software products, that basically allow service providers as well as application developers so that actually our chip sets and solutions are content aware. they will be content aware. we'll be providing more and more capabilities as these folks kind of work out -- >> explain -- we just have a minute left but explain content aware. you're looking at the content or you are able to throttle it or what? >> it could be a combination. i mean, obviously, you know, with all of this, piracy is a concern, but obviously everything that goes through the pipe, we are part of that. and i think more and more products are going to be developed in the context of is it -- how do i prioritize? if netflix is coming in, do i
prioritize -- >> that's the core question. >> absolutely. >> let me ask you last question and then we have to go to a commercial, but what ahead concerns you most? we never saw a netflix coming back when we had a 14.4 baud modem. is there anything out there where you say we're going to need big pipes for that? >> you know, frankly, i think most of the applications that we see today -- >> already. >> we see today, i think we're just scratching the surface. when we talk about a gigabyte per second and some people roll their eyes on why do we need that? i think fundamentally we could potentially get there in the next three to five years. omid tahernia, thank you. the growing market for second-hand haute couture when "press:here" continues.
welcome back to "press:here." it was not that long ago if you wanted to sell something out of your closet, you'd turn to ebay. how pedestrian. >> reporter: selling second hand has gone upscale, chic even. a growing number of startups are helping women sell their used clothing, designer bags, and expensive shoes online. sites like vaunte. vaunte asks socialites and heiresses and tv personalities to go through their closets looking for things to sell and then features them in photo shoots. you can then browse through the used lifestyles of the rich and famous. >> it's sort of laid back but it's kind of rocker chic. >> leah park is the ceo of vaunte.
she tesells on vaunte as well. she has a pair of size 5 sandals for $70 and a rolex for -- it's a man's rolex, isn't it? >> it is. >> you are angry at somebody. >> i wish i could be, but unfortunately it's the fashion now to wear men's. >> i see. why does a very rich woman, and we saw a number of wealthy women there being documented in their clothing, why does she need to sell a pair of shoes? >> it's not only wealthy women. it's actually women -- >> i understand why poor women need to sell shoes. why do wealthy women need to sell their shoes? >> "new york times" said it best, they said it's the privilege of having it first. now they can show off what they have, and more and more women want presence online. this is a way to get people into their homes, to understand what they have achieved, and -- >> there's a certain social sort of look at me and my closet sort of thing. >> absolutely.
>> and at the heart it sounds like what you're trying to do is create a community. that's what ebay did early on. they were able to get people to interact with their auctions. what are some of the different ways you're approaching community building with what you're doing because it's a different time than it was for ebay ten years ago. >> the first thing is that it's all cure rated. we're highly cure yated and we're very particular about who we allow on our site. it's women and men of all different walks, and we're really differentiated because it's about their personality, their home. you get to see a photo of their dog and their baby and know what their styles are like and even donate all of your proceeds to charity. so it's a different -- there's no platform out there that allows these kind of women and men to be together, and that's what we're trying to do. >> are there many men -- whther wasn't a scott mcgrew profile -- >> we're working on it.
>> i'm not a fashion guy. but do men really go for this stuff, second hand clothes? we don't buy that stuff, do you? >> you'd be surprised. our first man was nate berkus, and he has amazing cartier watches -- >> and you're playing up to that. >> yeah. >> what i'm getting is, again, why would nate berkus need to sell his watch but he's a brand and he's seeing this -- >> so is everybody, though. why can't i be celebrated? why shouldn't you be? >> the lena collection. >> absolutely. >> you've got sort of voyeurism, you have the vanity, and the value, but what's to stop us putting up a site tomorrow and going to call lots of different people and -- our own site to compete. where is the barriers to competition that you're inevitly going to face? it seems to easy. >> it isn't that easy. my partner and i had quite an experience. you know, we are the first seven
founding members -- >> you come from the new york passion world. >> yes. he was at calvin klein, george armani. we have built over the past 10 to 20 years our own personal roster. many of these women and men are personal friends. that's the difference. >> my question is, you know, you came from gilt. they have a very focused brand on luxury. your brand is also focused on luxury and some of the competitors like posh mark and others have a really wide swath. they do everything from lower end to then the cartiers. how do you maintain your brand and how do you make a real strong revenue stream from that, too? >> thank you for asking. my break ground is in branding and when it comes to fashion brands, you have to start from the top. it's very, very difficult to beat let's say an ebay and try to become luxury and so that is
what we know, and we guard it so carefully. every single item that's on our site is curated. it's hand selected. we look at it for style, brand, and condition. >> if you remember, if you're old enough, you probably around, cadillac created the sim mon which w -- cimarron which was a cruddy little car which destroyed their brand. chrysler tried to build expensive cars but it's still the same problem. >> that's why we have to be so protective in it. >> in the internet world, scale everything. you have to be the biggest. you're saying, no, what we want to do is stay quite small and niche. is that going to make me a ton of money? >> our value proposition is this magazine sort of view, this editorial where you're like i want to see what is in cindy
galvin's closet or ali spears, the press queen of san francisco. however, we are going to scale. our goal is to be really low touch though and so we're launching a thing called diy. what that means is anyone can upload their own profiles and their wares. however -- >> i was going to say, that goes against your whole motto. you have 30 seconds to explain the difference. >> we will still vet every item. we still will say that has to be a gucci, prada, channel bronandd you have to use our proprietary software to shoot it. >> your photography has been really great. vaunte. >> means to show off. >> thank you. >> "press:here" will be back in just a minute.